I am writing in response to a story (April 16) regarding St. Dom’s trip to Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Words cannot convey the anger and resentment I felt when I read this article. I assumed journalistic integrity required that the reporter ensure that what was printed was true.
I am a proud native of Mound Bayou. For the record, Mound Bayou is located in the Mississippi Delta, founded in 1887 by ex-slaves. It is this country’s oldest all-black town and is steeped in history. Medgar Evers lived and worked there. Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke there. The first black-owned cotton mill was built in Mound Bayou in 1909. Its natives are proud, educated people. Many are physicians, attorneys, educators, architects, engineers, politicians, executives, and entrepreneurs. The houses that you characterize as “shacks” are primarily brick or vinyl-sided homes with garages or car ports. Some homes are in disrepair, but what town doesn’t have that?
We concede that Mound Bayou has fallen victim to some deterioration in this economy, but every town in this country has suffered. Notwithstanding, the residents of Mound Bayou — former and present — will not allow any organization to take advantage of the town’s condition for its own financial benefit or denigrate it for the sake of good press.
I ask that you encourage the students of St. Dom’s to find another town that may need their help. Mound Bayou can and will take care of itself.
Ursula Y. Holmes, Esq., Memphis, Tenn.

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